Information about the Earth obtained from satellite systems assists the National Weather Service (NWS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in conducting its legislatively mandated programs to provide weather and flood forecasts and warnings for the American public, improve public safety, and provide weather information for conunerce and science. NOAA's National Environmental Data and Information Service (NESDIS) operates two meteorological satellite systems-the geostationary operational environmental satellite (GOES) system and the low Earth orbit (LEO) polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite (POES) system in support of the meteorological data needs of the NWS. The Department of Defense's (DOD's) Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) provides similar meteorological data to support the survveillance, war-fighting, and peacekeeping operations of U.S. military forces. Under normal operating conditions, each system consists of two satellites in orbit and the associated satellite control and data receiving stations, data archives, and data distribution networks. Appendix A summarizes the technical characteristics of these systems and outlines their planned development and launch schedules.